It’s been 4 + 1 years in the making, but finally, the 2020 European Football Championships are at our doorstep. No, you haven’t stepped back in time – Euro 2020 has not been renamed Euro 2021. UEFA made the decision last year to stick with Euro 2020 as so much marketing had already been done.
The official name matters little to most of us. As football fans, we only want to see Europe’s best lock horns, and of course, England lifting the trophy at the home of football – Wembley Stadium, which hosts the final.
So, which sides are early favourites? Do the three Lions stand a realistic chance? Let’s see what the top bookies think. They’re never wrong, are they?
Winners in 2008 and 2012 (as well as 1964), Spain are looking to add a fourth trophy to their cabinet. They’ve gone through a rebuild since the side that dominated world football a decade ago, although talisman Sergio Ramos is still steering the ship. A lot will rest on the shoulders of young forward Gerard Moreno. If he has his shooting boots, then 7/1 could be a great price.
Did Belgium miss their big chance at the last World Cup, or could this be their summer? The Red Devils have a wealth of talent, with the likes of Lukaku, Mertens, De Bruyne, Alderweireld, and Courtois all expected to feature heavily. However, much will depend on the form of Eden Hazard. He’s been riddled with injuries over the past year but is now back to fitness. Just in time to deliver a magical summer?
Second-favourites at the bookies, France will be looking to add the European Championship to the World Cup they currently hold. They boast an array of talent all over the park, including Pogba and Kante in midfield and Griezmann and Mbappe leading the line up-front. For us, France’s success will depend on Mbappe’s performances. He was on fire at the World Cup, so we have no doubt that he can produce the goods on the biggest stage. Good value at 11/2, we think.
Ones to watch
Before revealing the early favourite, we’d like to throw some light on a few teams to watch that are a little further out in the betting. Current champions Portugal (15/2) are always stiff opposition, and with Ronaldo – always a threat. Germany (15/2) usually love tournament football, and they won the trophy the last time the final was at Wembley. Also, what about Italy (9/1) and the Netherlands (10/1)?
Early favourites: England 9/2
Southgate’s Three Lions are the pre-tournament favourites as things stand. With Kane, Sterling, Foden, Rashford, and Sancho, there’s no denying the attacking threat of England. But, defensively, are they good enough to keep Europe’s best marksman quiet? Of course, they have the advantage of playing on home soil, and it’s hoped fans (in some capacity) will be allowed in. Perhaps, 1966 could be repeated?